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Ohio Men’s Basketball Opens 2019-20 Season at St. Bonaventure on Tuesday

Ohio Men’s Basketball Opens 2019-20 Season at St. Bonaventure on Tuesday

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OHIO MEN'S BASKETBALL 2019-20 • GAME 1
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019
7:30 p.m. EST | Ohio (0-0) vs. St. Bonaventure (0-0) | Reilly Center | St. Bonaventure, N.Y. | Live Stats | ESPN+Listen | Ohio Notes | SBU Notes

ATHENS, Ohio - The 113th season of Ohio men's basketball tips off on Tuesday (Nov. 5) at St. Bonaventure under first-year head coach Jeff Boals. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. inside the Reilly Center.  Tuesday's contest will be broadcast live on ESPN+, with Brendan McDaniels and Joe Ceraulo on the call.

Tuesday's game can also be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 12th season as the "Voice of the Bobcats," along with Ohio Alum Rob Cornelius. WXTQ (Power 105) in Athens returns as the 11-station network's flagship. The broadcasts are also available online through TuneIn.com/OhioBobcats and on the TuneIn app.

OHIO IN SEASON OPENERS
- Ohio has won its last 15 season openers. 
- This is the first time since 2003-04 the Ohio will be opening a season away from the Convocation Center. 

ALL TIME AGAINST ST. BONAVENTURE
- This is the 13th all-time meeting between the Bobcats and St. Bonaventure, with the Bonnies holding the all-time series lead, 8-4.
- Ohio and St. Bonaventure last meet on Dec. 5, 2015 at St. Bonaventure, with the Bonnies winning, 81-68.

SCOUTING ST. BONAVENTURE
- St. Bonaventure enters the 2019-20 season after finishing last year with an 18-16 overall record and a 12-6 MAC in the Atlantic 10. 
- The Bonnies finished last season in the A10 Championship game, falling to St. Louis, 55-53. 
- Last season, St. Bonaventure averaged 66.2 points per game, while shooting .429 from the field, .328 from three-point range and .742 from the free throw line. 
- St. Bonaventure averaged 34.8 rebounds per game, while dishing out 12.3 assists per game, tallying 5.9 steals per game and 5.8 blocks per contest. 
- The Bonnies return sophomore Kyle Loften who averaged 14.4 points per game, while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from three-point range. 
- The Bonnies look to replace leading scorer Courtney Stockard who averaged 15.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. 
- St. Bonaventure is coming off of a 90-45 victory over Alfred in an exhibition match up on Oct. 30. 
- Alejandro Vasquez scored a game-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor. Bobby Planutis (11 points), Robert Carpenter (10) and Alpha Okoli (10) all scored in double figures as well.

LAST TIME OUT FOR OHIO
First year head coach Jeff Boals made his coaching debut inside the Convocation Center, as the Ohio men's basketball team defeated Capital, 73-49, Saturday afternoon (Nov. 2) in the Bobcats' annual Dad's Weekend exhibition game.

Leading Ohio was sophomore guard Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.) scored a team-high 17 points, going 5-of-12 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Preston also dished out six assists had three steals and grabbed seven rebounds. Redshirt senior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) finished with 13 points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists in 13 minutes. Freshman guard Lunden McDay (Akron, Ohio) finished his first day as a Bobcat on the court with 12 points, two assists and three steals, while redshirt sophomore forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) added nine points and five rebounds. Freshman center Nolan Foster (Mattawan, Mich.) finished the day with a team-leading eight rebounds.

Overall, Ohio shot 41.1 percent from the floor, 23.8 percent from three-point range and 83.3 percent from the free throw line, while Capital shot 31.7 percent from the field, 20.8 percent from three-point range and 60.0 percent from the free throw line. Ohio out-rebounded the Crusaders 44-37, while forcing 19 turnovers and scoring 30 points off of them. 

The Bobcats also recorded 11 steals and dished out 14 assists compared to Capital's nine assists and eight steals. 

SCOUTING OHIO
The Bobcats finished last season with a 14-17 record and a 6-12 Mid-American Conference mark. Ohio fell in the first round of the MAC Tournament to No. 7 seed Northern Illinois. 

The Bobcats return seven from last season, including redshirt senior guard Jordan Dartis – who missed all of last season due to an injury - and MAC Freshman of the Year, Ben Vander Plas. Ohio also returns Jason Preston, Nate Springs, Connor Murrell, John Tenerowicz, and Mason McMurray

Bobcat fans will also see seven new faces on the court this season, grad transfer from Georgia Tech, Sylvester Ogbonda (Part Harcourt, Nigeria) and six freshman including Michael Brown, Jr. (Rochester, N.Y.), Ben Roderick (Powell, Ohio), Lunden McDay (Akron, Ohio), Nolan Foster, (Mattawan, Mich.), Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y.), and Marvin Price (Baltimore, Md.).

JEFF BOALS ERA BEGINS
Jeff Boals returns to Athens for his first season as the leader of the Bobcats. Boals, a 1995 graduate, led the bobcats to a 25-8 overall season and won the Mid-American Conference regular season championship with a 14-4 mark in league play in 1994. The Bobcats capped off a MAC Tournament run with an 89-66 win over archrival Miami in the title game to send Ohio to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years. 

Boals spent the previous three seasons (2016-19) as the head coach at Stony Brook. He guided the Seawolves to an overall record of 55-41 – including a 31-17 mark in America East Conference play. Stony Brook has gone 24-8 (12-4 AEC) in 2018-19 and made its second postseason appearance in the last three. The Seawolves received an invitation to the College Basketball Invitational Tournament in 2017. Stony Brook placed five student-athletes on the America East's All-Conference Teams in 2018-19, with sophomore center Jeff Otchere being named the league's Defensive Player of the Year and redshirt sophomore guard/forward Andrew Garcia being tabbed as Sixth Man of the Year.

RETURNERS
The Bobcats return seven from last season, including redshirt senior guard Jordan Dartis and MAC Freshman of the Year Ben Vander Plas. Ohio also returns Jason Preston, Nate Springs, Connor Murrell, John Tenerowicz, and Mason McMurray.  

Dartis returns after missing the entire 2018-19 season due to injury. In his Ohio career, Dartis averages 11.9 points per game and is a 45.2 percent (339-of-750) shooter -- including owning a 44.8 percent (231-of-516) success rate from beyond the arc, which is the best three-point field goal percentage in program history. He is one of eight players in program history to sink at least 200 career three-pointers with 231, which ranks as the fifth-most in the history of the program. Dartis has finished in double figures 55 times in his Ohio career, which is the most among active Bobcats, and has tallied at least 20 points in a game 14 times in his career, which also ranks as the most among active Ohio players. His 1,086 career points rank as the 31st-most in program history.

Vander Plas was named the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year. In MAC play, Vander Plas averaged 7.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He shot 38.3 percent from the field, 27.5 percent from three-point range and 57.9 percent from the free throw line. Vander Plas scored in double figures 11 times this season, while recording two double-doubles. 

Preston, recognized on MAC All-Freshman Team, played in 30 games and started 22 for the Bobcats in his freshman campaign. Preston averaged six points per game while shooting 43.4% from the field and led the team with 3.4 assists per game and recorded his season-high nine assists in a 91-76 victory over Western Michigan while also adding six points and five rebounds off the bench. 

Murrell appeared in 25 games while averaging 3.1 points per game on 36.3% shooting from the field and 24.2% from three. He scored nine points in 18 minutes on 4-8 shooting at Purdue (Dec. 20) and recorded seven points, five rebounds, three assists, and one block in a 66-57 win against rival Miami (Mar. 8).

Mason McMurray appeared in nine games before being sidelined by an injury, averaging 1.8 points per game while shooting 40 percent from the field, 20 percent from three, and 100% from the free throw line.

Springs is also back for the Bobcats after redshirting during the 2018-19 season.

UP NEXT
Ohio returns to the Convocation Center on Saturday, Nov. 9 when the Bobcats host Heidelberg for their 2019-20 home opener. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.

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